Architects: John Dwyer Architect
Location: Saint Paul, MN, USA
Architect In Charge: John Dwyer
Collaborators: Shelter Architecture, Colin Oglesbay, ro/lu
Area: 2,355 sq ft
Photographs: Courtesy of John Dwyer Architect
Conceived in early 2008, at the height of the great recession, the challenge of building bordered the impossible. Budget, program, size and amenity was quickly dictated by appraisable value and lending requirements that were, at the time, unknown even to lenders.
The architectural response focused on the new economy as an opportunity to explore the social and economic roots of modernism where form and material are driven by affordability, aesthetic is driven by singularity, and program is shuffled to create a more integral way of living. The result is a pure white box sheathed in fiber cement and gypsum with small moments of strategically placed natural walnut and ipe.
Floors are a custom mixed, light weight concrete poured directly over the subfloor and fan troweled. Windows and doors are anodized aluminum. Interior walls and millwork are minimized and, where necessary are pre-primed mdf and is reclaimed barstock aluminum. The box divides itself, internally into three wings(master suite, guest wing, main living) which all hinge from the natural walnut kitchen.
Mechanical and electrical elements are minimized and hidden wherever possible. In the landscape, plates of ½” thick corten steel transition changing topographies and outdoor rooms.